Master of Business Administration University of Wales/HKMA Despite having more than 20 years of experience working in an e-commerce firm, Alfred Cheng wanted to go back to school. 'It was not for just the title, but a desire for career and life improvement,' says Cheng, who hopes to continue to broaden his horizons in management by taking up a master of business administration (MBA). He chose the MBA programme awarded by the University of Wales (below) at the Hong Kong Management Association because the assessments are based on written assignments and case studies that enhance interaction among students and lecturers, and because of the convenience of the weekend lecture schedule, he says. Cheng has found the course very practical as it utilises a great variety of written assignments, case studies, and group discussions to help students better understand theories. 'The knowledge gained and skills acquired through management studies are now benefiting me in my day-to-day business interactions,' he says. 'The programme has equipped me with management tools and helped me evaluate business issues to brighten my career prospects. I found it very rewarding to exchange ideas with my lecturers and classmates who come from diverse backgrounds.' Cheng advises prospective students to plan their timetable carefully. 'Being a part-time MBA student is tough and it is difficult to strike a balance between work and academic life, but it is a very rewarding experience. After completing the MBA programme, I am interested in doing further academic development through a DBA,' he says. Stephen Griffiths, MBA programme director of the University of Wales and moderator of its Hong Kong programmes, thinks successful managers need to be well-educated to respond to the ever-evolving business environment. 'Our students are usually in middle to senior management. They demand programmes that provide broad perspectives on the latest trends in the market as well as the business disciplines closely linked to their practical applications,' he says. The programme comprises modules focusing on general management, marketing, finance, human resources management, entrepreneurship and others. The course is founded on the University of Wales' well-established framework with 'contextualised content' to fit the needs of local executives. 'We understand that doing a part-time master's degree is a big investment,' Griffiths says. 'When choosing our course of study, students want to know that the degree will allow them to move forward in their career or the academic field. The award is mapped against identical standards, content and levels as the MBA home course in Wales.' Applicants must be university graduates, or possess post-secondary or professional qualifications, plus three or more years of management experience. The programme takes two years to complete.